Marianna <I>Dow</I> Edgerton

Marianna Dow Edgerton

Birth
Concord, Merrimack County, New Hampshire, USA
Death 30 Nov 2012 (aged 93)
Greensboro, Guilford County, North Carolina, USA
Burial Cremated, Location of ashes is unknown
Memorial ID 126486293 · View Source
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GREENSBORO — Marianna Dow Edgerton died on November 30, 2012.

She was born on January 19, 1919, in New Hampshire to Stephen and Stella Brownell Dow and was a direct descendant of Roger Williams. She grew up on a small farm in Massachusetts and graduated from Taunton High School. Her Quaker roots drew her to Guilford College, where she sang in the a cappella choir with J. Wilbert (Wil) Edgerton. They graduated in 1940 and married in 1943.

Marianna worked as a social worker in mental hospitals, a girls' reformatory, and welfare departments in various cities in Virginia, Florida, and North Carolina where she moved with Wil, a psychologist. After their first child was born, she became a homemaker and volunteered in community activities, usually involving children or church. She and Wil sang in church choirs almost everywhere they lived.

When she was in her fifties and her youngest child was in junior high, Marianna earned an M.A. in biostatistics from the School of Public Health at UNC. She worked as a research associate in child development for 13 years.

In her eighties Marianna organized information about her ancestors, obtained biographies from her living relatives, and published materials about each side of her family. In 2004, she wrote a piece for the birthday of each of her children, their spouses, and her grandchildren, about her life at their age, using her memories, journals, and letters. She observed constellations most of her life; Cassiopeia was a favorite because of its M shape that inverted to form her husband's initial. She had a lifelong love of word games and poetry, and she could recite poems memorized in high school even in her last days. Her sense of humor, positive outlook, and gentle strength endeared her to family and friends.

Marianna and Wil lived in 5 states and 10 cities and enjoyed them all. They traveled in six continents and 40 countries and entertained foreign visitors in their home. They were jointly awarded the Distinguished Service Award for outstanding and prolonged service to Guilford College in 1991. In 2000 they moved to Friends Homes West in Greensboro and enjoyed the community of friends and activities there.

Wil died on October 1, 2012. Marianna took great pride in her four children and their spouses, David and Alison Hay Edgerton of Backus, MN; Karen and Dillon Robertson of Winston-Salem; Stephen and Dawn McKissick Edgerton of Chapel Hill; and Elizabeth and Alex Albright of Fountain, NC; and in her grandchildren, Jesse Edgerton, Nathan Robertson and his wife Michelle, Marianna, Chloë, and Travis Edgerton, and Silas Albright. She appreciated all the joys she experienced in her long life.

Memorials may be made to the J. Wilbert and Marianna Dow Edgerton Scholarship Fund at Guilford College, Greensboro, or to a charity of the donor's choice.

A celebration of Marianna's life will be held at a future date.

Please offer condolences at www.news-record.com/obituaries/

Published in News Record on December 2, 2012

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Memorial written by her nephew, Thomas Cox Edgerton, for New Garden Friends Meeting
MARIANNA DOW EDGERTON

Marianna Dow Edgerton was born in New Hampshire on January 19, 1919, to Stephen and Stella Brownell Dow, and was a direct descendant of Roger Williams, theologian and founder of Rhode Island. She grew up on a small farm in Massachusetts and graduated from Taunton High School. The family included a brother, Arlon, and a sister, Margaret Carolyn (Peggy).
Marianna's Quaker roots drew her to Guilford College, where she sang in the a cappella choir with J. Wilbert (Wil) Edgerton. They graduated in 1940 and married in 1943. Their family came to include four children and their spouses, David and Alison Hay Edgerton of Backus, Minnesota; Karen and Dillon Robertson of Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Stephen and Dawn McKissick Edgerton of Chapel Hill, North Carolina; and Elizabeth and Alex Albright of Fountain, North Carolina. Marianna and Wil also had six grandchildren and a number of nieces and nephews.
After college, Marianna taught high school and worked as a social worker in mental hospitals, a girls' reformatory, and welfare departments in various cities in Massachusetts, Florida, North Carolina and Virginia, as Wil began his career as a psychologist. After their first child was born, she became a homemaker and volunteered in community activities, usually involving children or church. She continued to sing with Wil in church choirs nearly everywhere they attended.
Marianna and Wil eventually settled in Chapel Hill in 1965. When she was in her fifties and her youngest child was in junior high school, Marianna earned an M.A. degree in biostatistics from the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina. She subsequently worked as a research associate in child development for 13 years at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center. While there, she designed and supervised research in family dynamics and social and intellectual adaptation in young children. She was an active advocate for social justice and peace; during the Vietnam War era, she could be found on the sidewalks of Chapel Hill participating in weekly peace vigils, regardless of weather.
After their four children were grown, Marianna and Wil traveled extensively, visiting 40 countries on six continents, often in exchange programs with the Friendship Force. In 2000 they moved to Friends Homes West in Greensboro, North Carolina, and enjoyed the community of friends and activities there. They continued to show their love for Guilford by serving the institution in many ways, and jointly received the Alumni Distinguished Service Award. Together they created the J. Wilbert and Marianna Dow Edgerton Scholarship, which continues to provide assistance to students selected by the college.
Marianna exercised a keen interest in many subjects. In her eighties, she organized information about her ancestors, gathered biographies from her living relatives and published materials about each side of her family. In 2004, she wrote a piece for the birthday of each of her children and grandchildren about her life at their age, using her memories, journals and letters. She often spent time observing the night sky; the constellation Cassiopeia was a favorite owing to its M shape, which inverted formed her husband's initial. She had a lifelong love of word games and poetry, and she could recite poems memorized in high school even in her last days. Her sense of humor, positive outlook and gentle strength endeared her to family and friends.
Marianna Dow Edgerton died on November 30, 2012 in Greensboro. She will be missed by all who knew her. Her influence on the lives of those who loved her—and the world she loved and enjoyed throughout her long life—will resonate for many generations to come.

Tom Edgerton
February, 2013


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  • Created by: Bryan S. Godfrey
  • Added: 17 Mar 2014
  • Find A Grave Memorial 126486293
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Marianna Dow Edgerton (19 Jan 1919–30 Nov 2012), Find A Grave Memorial no. 126486293, ; Maintained by Bryan S. Godfrey (contributor 46982727) Cremated, Location of ashes is unknown.